This Chappo article was written by Sarah Ebockayuk, Track of the Day Editor
This quirky quartet resonate a psychedelic feel within a sometimes stale industry. The band formed in East Village, New York back in 2009 are due to release their new album ‘Future Former Self’ on the 22nd January. GIGsoup has been given the exclusive opportunity to premiere the second part of their six-part stop animation video for their aforementioned release (see above).
Chappo’s vibe and abstract notions have attracted the likes of Imagine Dragons and their impressive resume includes ads for Apple Ipod Touch and TV programmes such as NBC’s ‘Up all Night’ and 90210! Their new single ‘Mad Magic’ sums up their idiosyncratic sound and personality!
GIGsoup had the fantastic opportunity to catch up with the band who are clearly creating waves in the industry….
CHAPPO formed in 2009, how did you guys meet and how did you decide on your musical style? Are there any notable influences in your music?
I first met Chris when I was looking for a roommate for my tiny East Village apartment. I had put an ad up and had so many responses that I set up an “open house.” Chris arrived first and we sort of hit it off. I knew Chris was the one I wanted to live with. I thought it would be cool to live with another musician. It wasn’t long before we started screwing around with keyboards and stuff at all hours of the night. I met Zac and Dave through Chris, they knew each other from music school in Jersey. Zac started playing drums and helped us record our first EP on a very rudimentary all in one recorder. Then Dave started playing with us and it really helped gel the sound and propel it. I remember this crazy show at Public Assembly where we explored with costumes, props , dry ice and confetti. It was a dirty ruckus party and the crowd was wild. Everything came together and felt right. You don’t really decide a musical style so much as fall into it from what you listen to and what inspires you. We all have similar tastes in music but enough variation that we each share an album or song from an artist. I’m always hearing awesome new music in our van rides on tour. I think in this album there are some inspiration flavor vibes from Bowie, Ozzy, Air, Beck, Krautrock, Tame Impala, Neil Young, and a ton more. Those are just a few I’m rattling off.
The notion of surreal narrative for your upcoming album ‘Future Former Self’ is idiosyncratic and not seen very often in the music industry. What drove you to have a continuous story line in the album as opposed to each song having a different meaning?
Well we had already explored parallel universes before with both of the Plastique Universe EPs and they were both conceptual too. I had been reading different science books on quantum mechanics and had picked up Flatlander by Edward Abbott from a friend, and I just had this idea of exploring other dimensions. And not so much in a magical way, but how could humans as three dimensional creatures possibly imagine or fathom higher dimensions. And the idea of a man traveling to a black hole and leaving his wife behind seemed like the perfect entry into some of these ideas and left just enough holes open to explore through a whole album. I’m also really intrigued with the direction story telling is going in as move through this digital age. How does the internet change music and story telling? Fusing them together seems pretty natural, at least to me.
‘Mad Magic’ is the second song from your Album due out on the 22nd January. What is the story behind the song?
It’s the moment in Rene’s journey when the sun has finally faded in the distance and darkness surrounds his field of vision. He’s thinking about how he’s left his wife back at home and how she’s going to deal with his absence. Vivid images, memories and sensations overwhelm him and he starts confusing his past with his present and his present with his possible future. Madness starts creeping in.
The storyline and journey in your album of Rene Cogito traveling to and from a black hole is an abstract one Does this relate to CHAPPO’s uphill journey as a band and musical style?
Oh definitely. And it muses on some of the things we all go through leaving our loved ones home while we travel through the world touring through different cities. It’s a long strange difficult journey for Rene but, ultimately worth it and I feel the same way about the band too.
You are due to tour the UK, performing at The Great Escape Festival. Would you consider working with artists/producers in the UK?
Yes of course!
CHAPPO’s music is very individual. Do you have a set music process within the band? (Who writes the music and how do you all decide on material?)
We all bring ideas together and see how they fit. Every idea has to touch everyone’s fingers. It’s like making a roux. You add some ingredients and keep mixing it together until it simmers for a bit and season it to taste. One ingredient might be a melody or a lyric idea and a beat or a chorus or a whole demo of a song. But the dynamics are always shifting around like tectonic plates waiting for that right volcanic eruption. We usually all know when the song is done.
Your previous Album ‘Moonwater’ received positive reviews, what are your expectations for your new album and how does it compare to your previous work to date?
As a whole the album has a more classic feel, a 70’s Southern California meets 60’s New Orleans pop psychedelia. It also feels a lot more cohesive than our last album. We found a delicate balance of the live approach we used during the Plastique Universe II EP and the studio layering we did when recording Moonwater. There was a nice balance of digital and analog as well which gives the album a distinct feel and depth.
Where would you like to see yourselves musically in 2016?
Playing music on the moon. Literally!
Check out Chappo’s New Single ‘Mad Magic’ (click on the image below) and watch part 2 of their six part animation for their album release on 22nd January 2016!